CEA Handbook

About

The Corporate Esports Association (CEA) is how companies can use esports for team-building and charity. Tournaments are friendly but competitive, and we take care of all the details so you can focus on having a great time.

CEA leadership brings over a decade of combined experience organizing corporate esports.

 

Read This First

  • Join the Discord server
  • Matches are on Saturdays at Noon Pacific each week. You can ask your opponent to reschedule, but they don't have to say yes.
  • If your company has multiple teams in a single tournament, you can have floaters between them. Please read the more verbose rules in Team Eligibility below.
  • If your company doesn't have enough players to form a team, ask us about joining with one other company to make a Joint-Team.
  • The CEA utilizes a Swiss-system tournament structure, a Round Robin stage, and then a single elimination playoffs. Gl hf.

Communication

All official CEA updates will be posted in our Discord server. If you have any questions, post in #help-and-feedback.


CEA Fall 2020 Season Calendar

The season calendar will be updated as we confirm the season format.

  • July 11: Registration Opens
  • September 5: Last day to register
  • September 9: Preseason matches announced
  • September 12: Preseason
  • September 19: Week 1
  • September 26: Week 2
  • October 3: Week 3
  • October 10: Week 4
  • October 17: Week 5
  • October 24: Week 6
  • October 31: Week 7
  • November 7: Week 8
  • November 14: Week 9
  • November 21: No Matches: Thanksgiving (US)
  • November 28: Playoffs Week 1
  • December 5: Playoffs Week 2
  • December 12: Playoffs Week 3
  • December 19: Grand Finals

CEA Fall 2020 Season Format Overview

  • Pre-Season: One practice match which follows the same rules and weekly structure as the regular season. The pre-season is mandatory so that the CEA and teams can work out logistic kinks before charity prizes are on the line! Read the specific game rules for the weekly schedule.
  • Regular Season: The Regular Season will run for 7 weeks and will be a non-elimination Swiss format, followed by a Round Robin in smaller groups.
  • Playoffs: Top 16 teams will compete in a single elimination tournament bracket. Playoff matches typically include more games per match than the regular season. Check the game rules for more info. Some matches later in the playoffs may be professionally cast.
  • The Grand Finals will be broadcast live on Twitch with professional commentators. Schedule and rough timing will be announced at the beginning of Playoffs. Matches will be played online and we may host official in-person viewing parties in select cities.

CEA Fall 2020 Season Format Details

Knowing the format is not critical to your team's success, nor is it necessary to have fun. If you'd like, just show up every week to play your match, and we'll figure out the details to find the best opponents for you. However, for those of you who are curious to understand our new and improved matchmaking algorithm, feel free to continue reading.

  • The Regular Season for all games will combine the best aspects of Swiss and Round Robin formats over to provide close, competitive, fun, and meaningful matches while also sorting teams before Playoffs.
  • The format for each game will be selected based on the number of teams that register and whether that particular game was run in the previous season. This results in three potential tournament formats:
    • Small (< 32 teams)
    • Large (>= 32 teams)
    • Unseeded (Dota 2, Call of Duty, CSGO)
  • The two formats other than Unseeded contain an upper Round Robin pool at the beginning of the tournament, which is populated with the top finishers from the previous season.
    Rules for being included in this upper Round Robin can be found in Team Eligibility.

Tournament Formats

  • Small Tournaments (<32 Teams)
  • Large Tournaments (>= 32 teams)
  • Unseeded (games not featured in previous season)

Example showing 24 teams

The top 4 finishers from the previous season (teams who made it to Semifinals) are placed into a separate Round Robin pool at the beginning of the season, while the rest of the teams play a normal Swiss bracket. In Week 4, the majority of teams will continue Swiss as normal; the Rebalance consists of the top 2 teams in the Swiss facing the bottom 2 teams from the initial Round Robin for a chance to earn a place in the top Round Robin pool in Weeks 5-7.

In Weeks 5-7, all teams are divided into Round Robin pools based on the results of the first 4 weeks. This Round Robin phase largely determines Playoffs seeding and should also generally contain close matches. Final seeding is determined in Week 8 Cross Play, where each team finishing in the top half of a pool challenges a team from the bottom half of the pool above to close out the Regular Season. The bottom 2 teams in the 4th pool (#15 and #16 after Week 7) will be defending Playoffs spots in these matches.

Finally, Weeks 9-12 consist of a standard Single Elimination bracket to crown winners.

Example showing 40 teams

In the Large Tournament format, the upper Round Robin consists of the top 8 teams from the previous season (teams who made it to Quarterfinals). The remainder of the teams play in a normal 4-week Swiss.

At the conclusion of the Swiss, the Swiss standings (and Swiss tiebreakers) determine placement into Round Robin pools where teams play for Playoffs seeding and also for generally close matches. Week 8 features Cross Play, where each team finishing in the top half of a pool challenges a team from the bottom half of the pool above to close out the Regular Season. The bottom 2 teams in the 2nd pool, not counting the original upper pool, (#15 and #16 after Week 7) will be defending Playoffs spots in these matches.

Finally, Weeks 9-12 consist of a standard Single Elimination bracket to crown winners.

Example showing 24 teams

The Unseeded tournament places all teams into a Swiss bracket with no prior information, and allows everyone the same chance to rise to the top. After 4 weeks of Swiss, teams are sorted into Round Robin pools where teams play for Playoffs seeding and also for generally close matches. Week 8 features Cross Play, where each team finishing in the top half of a pool challenges a team from the bottom half of the pool above to close out the Regular Season. The bottom 2 teams in the 2nd pool, not counting the original upper pool, (#15 and #16 after Week 7) will be defending Playoffs spots in these matches.

Finally, Weeks 9-12 consist of a standard Single Elimination bracket to crown winners.

Weekly Structure of the League

  • Matches will be distributed each week on Monday. Please refer to the game rules for each specific game as some games have additional weekly structure such as map announcement and lineup submission deadlines. All deadlines are 11:59:59 pm Pacific unless otherwise specified.
  • On Wednesday, lineup and replay submissions are due. Refer to your individual game rules to see if your game requires a lineup or replay submission.
  • Each team plays one match per week on Saturday at 12pm Pacific with results due by Sunday at 4pm Pacific. The CEA observes Daylight Saving Time. If not enough players on your roster are able to make the default match time, contact the opposing captain as outlined in our ‘Match rescheduling’ section to see if they’re able to accommodate a reschedule.
  • See "Match Rescheduling" below for more details on playing matches outside the allotted window.
  • Rosters may not be edited in the 24 hours prior to a match's scheduled time.

Replays

  • Replays must be uploaded by the winner for every game that requires replay submission.
    • This season, replays are required for Dota 2, League of Legends, and Starcraft 2.
  • Replay submission due dates and procedures:
    • Replay due dates are found in their respective game rules.
    • The penalties are as follows
      • 1st offense: Warning
      • 2nd offense: Game Loss
      • 3rd offense: Match Loss
  • Replay submission will be through a form for your game, please check your specific game's Discord channel for details.
  • Replay locations:

Code of Conduct

The CEA community strives to be a fun environment for everyone inside and outside of the league. Please follow these simple guidelines:

  • Help anytime you can.

  • Have fun.
  • Be nice.
  • Respect all players and teams (both publicly and privately).
  • Keep interactions safe for work.

  • Do not disparage companies, their employees, or products.

  • Contact organizers privately if you have a complaint about other players or teams.

Being a Captain

  • A good team captain can make or break a team’s experience in the CEA. In the past, successful captains report that their responsibilities can take a few hours per week. Make sure you’re up for the commitment or find help!
  • Creating and Registering a Team

    • Select a team name, which must include your company name. If your company will have multiple teams you will also need an additional identifier (e.g. Stark Industries Alpha). Do not use your company logo or other trademarks without obtaining written permission.

    • You may choose to ask your company to cover your team's registration fee. If you do so, we've included a sample letter to management that you may choose to use.
    • Select a 501(c)(3) charity which will receive a donation on your behalf if your team does well enough. Check if your company has preferred charities.

    • Pay the registration fee through the http://cea.gg site for your specific game and season. Once paid, you will receive additional information as well as next steps for joining the tournament on our tournament management platform.

    • The team captain is not required to play but must be on the roster.

    • There are no caps on the number of teams per company.

  • Weekly Duties
    • Setting up practice times and scrimmages as desired.

    • Ensuring all the players show up on time for their matches.

    • Ensuring matches are properly recorded (if required in game rules).

    • Handling disputes between players and bringing disputes to the attention of the CEA organizers when necessary.

    • Organizing and submitting the player lineups (as required in game rules).

    • Ensuring all players are still full time employees. Players may not continue playing after termination and teams caught using ineligible players will be removed from competition with further penalties likely to be applied.

General Rules

The following rules apply to all games sanctioned by the CEA. Anytime you have a question about rules, or what you should do in a situation first make sure you're following Wheaton's Law - "Don't be a dick."

Registration Fees

Registration fees support the CEA with a portion going towards the charity prize pool. Companies often reimburse registration fees, be sure to check in with your HR department! The person who completes registration on the tournament management platform will be marked as the captain. If that captain position should change, ping a game lead or oragnizer on Discord.

Registration fees will be refunded in full if the request is made prior to the close of registration. Teams disqualified for any reason will forfeit their registration fees in full and may be excluded from future seasons.

All competition will be run through the CEA's tournament management platform and registration fees are required before continuing to team signups on this tournament management platform.

Player Eligibility

  1. Players may be added to rosters at any point throughout the season, if the max roster size has not been met. Teams should work with their Game Leads to add players after the season begins. After Week 5, additional players may be added as per individual game rules. Also after Week 5, removing players does not free up additional spots on the roster.

  2. Players must be full time employees at your company and must do work other than playing the game for which you are registered.

  3. Players must have an active email address at your company domain. Invalid emails may result in disqualification without a refund. Contact us if this is a concern. The CEA will ask for and validate your corporate email account.

  4. Interns, co-ops, and contractors are allowed provided they pass email verification as above. If their employment term ends during the season, the team must meet the minimum roster size without counting the temporary player.

  5. Players which become ineligible during the season must be removed from the team and may no longer play in matches.

  6. Players may only play on multiple teams while following the restrictions in Team Eligibility.

  7. There is no geographical restriction on players, except that match times are generally US-friendly and that games are played on NA servers.
  8. Each player participating in competitions must have an active account in good standing displayed on their Guilded profile. Only team members playing under their registered account are allowed to play for a team.

Team Eligibility

In general, any player may play on any single team at that player's company, in a single tournament.

Floater policy: Within the same company and within the same game's tournament, a player may play on multiple rosters with the following restrictions:

      1. All teams must meet the minimum team size without counting any players who are listed on multiple teams.

      2. Shared players still count towards a team’s maximum roster size.
      3. A player on multiple rosters may only play for one of those teams of each game in any given week. Violation of this rule will lead to disqualification from the CEA.

      4. If a company elects to have floaters for any of its games, a representative of the company should inform that game's Game Lead which rosters are affected, and inform the game lead each week which team that floater will play on.
      5. The maximum number of floaters allowed across a company's teams in a particular tournament depends on the number of teams that company has in the tournament as well as the minimum roster size for that tournament, and is as follows:
# of Teams Maximum # of Floaters (minimum roster 3-4) Maximum # of Floaters (minimum roster 5-6)

2-3

1

2

4-6

2

4

7-9

3

6

Each floater may be rostered on no more than 3 teams. Each team may have no more than 1 floater for games with minimum roster size 3-4. Each team may have no more than 2 floaters for games with minimum rosters size 5-6.

Cross-Game policy: Within the same company, players are typically discouraged from playing on teams across multiple games. Doing so may be allowed at Game Leads' discretion as long as the following criteria are met:

      1. All teams must meet the minimum team size without counting any players who are listed on multiple teams.
      2. Teams should understand that relying on a Cross-Game player's availability is not a suitable reason to reschedule a match (all matches occur at Noon Pacific on Saturday by default)
      3. A Cross-Game player should not plan to be a primary player on more than 1 team.

Eligibility for Upper Round Robin:

      1. A team is generally eligible to participate in the Upper Round Robin starting the season if the following criteria are met:
        1. A team from the same company placed in the top 8 (quarterfinals) for Large tournaments, or in the top 4 (semifinals) for Small tournaments in the previous season.
        2. >42% of the members from the team whose performance is cited above are returning to play on the team in question.
      2. A team may opt out of participation in the Upper Round Robin before the season begins if there are <72% returners from the previously high-placing team.
      3. These rules may be modified and/or overwritten as needed at the Game Lead's discretion to cater towards specifics of a particular game, or to address special cases and unforeseen circumstances.

Half-Team / Joint-Team Policy:

      1. A Joint-Team may consist of members from different companies if the following criteria are met:
        1. There are no more than 2 companies represented on the team.
        2. The companies represented are not represented in any other teams in a single game's tournament.
      2. A Joint-Team is subject to all other rules normally surrounding CEA teams.
      3. A Joint-Team may have 1 single captain from either company, or may have 2 captains total (1 from each company).
      4. Registering:
        1. Two Half-Teams may combine and register as a Joint-Team through the normal registration process without first consulting CEA. Please list both companies on the registration form.
        2. Half-Teams may also consult CEA for help with pairing, and upon being paired will register as a Joint-Team through the normal registration process.

Streaming and Observing

Players may stream their matches or have others stream for them. Stream cheating is not allowed and using a stream delay is encouraged to avoid the temptation. Observers able to see both teams' perspectives are discouraged and require the explicit approval of both captains or their Game Lead. Observers who are limited by the game settings to view only one team’s perspective only need the approval of the team that they observe. In the case of limited observing slots, slots must be shared equally between teams.

Regardless of the observer's perspective, teams are not allowed to communicate with observers in-game (via text chat, voice chat, or anything else) with the exception of CEA staff, or CEA designated referees. In-game coaching is forbidden.

Voice Chat

Only players actively playing in the game (e.g. 5 players for League of Legends) may discuss strategy or offer advice to players during the game. Real time coaching by anyone not participating in the game is not allowed. Failure to adhere to this rule may result in penalties.

Communication

CEA official updates are conducted through email and Discord. Team captains and their designated alternates must be available on the CEA Discord server, and match-related communication between teams should also occur on that platform. Players are strongly encouraged to be in the Discord server as well.

Discord should also be the primary method of contacting CEA administrators, using #help-and-feedback and tagging the appropriate administrator or player.

Match Rescheduling

Matches are scheduled at 12pm pacific every Saturday. The CEA observes Daylight Saving Time. We request that teams generally keep the 12 - 1pm pacific window on Saturday open and attempt to accommodate reschedule requests within this window, as explained below. Reschedules should be used as a last resort when not enough players on the roster are able to make the default match time.

A reschedule request should be submitted by the team captain to the opposing captain in writing. Opposing captains are under no obligation to accommodate any request. If both captains agree on a new time they must both notify the organizers via #reschedule-reporting in Discord no later than 1pm pacific on the Thursday before the match and also notify organizers via Discord when they are ready to start the rescheduled match. CEA staff may not be available to assist with issues outside of the Saturday 12 - 1pm window.

After playing the match, post the match results to #reschedule-reporting on Discord and indicate that an organizer needs to enter the result.

No-shows and Forfeits

If a team is unable to play within 15 minutes of the scheduled time, that team automatically forfeits the match. The time period for no-shows may be extended by the captain of the opposing team in writing.

If a team partially fails to show up by fifteen (15) minutes after the scheduled time, captains should ensure that the situation is documented with screenshots and chat logs. Teams must choose between:

Team Games

        1. Playing without the absent members if the game allows.

        2. Forfeiting the first game (regardless of Bo1, Bo3, or Bo5). In a Bo3 or Bo5 this will provide the partially-present team an additional 30 minutes for the rest of their team to arrive. If players don't show up within this time, the team may again choose to play with the currently present members or forfeit the rest of the match.

1v1 Games

        1. Matches default to being played in series (one after another) and in the order of lineup submission. If the missing player is scheduled to play first, they forfeit their game and the next players have a 15 minute grace period before their match begins​. Two or more forfeits in this way result in an automatic match loss.

In the event both teams have arrived to play, but one team fails to join the match lobby within the later of twenty (20) minutes after the scheduled match time and five (5) minutes after both teams communicated being ready to play, the opposing captain may submit documentation (screenshots and chat logs) to claim a victory by forfeit as follows:

      1. In the event of a team game, the opposing captain should provide notice they will be submitting documentation for a victory by forfeit. At this time, the team may still elect to play short-handed.

      2. In the event of a 1v1 game, the opposing captain should provide notice to their opponent's captain that they are submitting documentation for a victory by forfeit.

Teams may opt to forfeit a match at any time with the consent of their team's members. In this case please notify the organizers and opposing captain in Discord using #forfeit-reporting.

Teams which forfeit multiple consecutive weeks and do not respond to messages from the organizers may be removed from the season without a refund.

Match Reporting

The winning team’s captain must submit results to the tournament management platform no later than 4pm pacific time on Sunday. Failure to submit results will lead to a warning for the winning team and in some cases a double loss. We strongly encourage the winner of each game to record screenshots of the post-game lobby victory screen and save the replay.

Scoring and Ranking

During Swiss, teams will be ranked by W/L record. For games with a best of 2 format, teams will instead be ranked and paired by points as explained in tiebreakers below.

Ties are broken by these factors (in order):

1. Points: 3 per Win, 0 Per Loss, 1 Per Tie

2. Opponents Match Win Percentage

3. Game Win Percentage (only relevant to games with best of X formats, e.g. 2-1 is 66%)

4. Opponents Opponents Match Win Percentage

Teams which achieve the number of wins listed for their individual game will automatically qualify for playoffs in the order in which they achieved this win count. They will be removed from regular Swiss pairings for the following weeks. If multiple teams achieve this final win in the same week, seeds will be determined by additional matches in the following weeks. If there are not enough weeks to play these matches, ties will be broken by Swiss tiebreakers at the end of the regular season.

Technical Issues

Teams are responsible for their own technical issues including hardware and internet. Matches will not be rescheduled because of player side technical issues and will continue after pauses (as provided in game specific rules) are exhausted even if the issue is not yet resolved.

Pauses may not be used to grief opponents or to strategically provide an advantage. Remember to take screenshots and video if you believe pauses are being abused.

In the event of technical issues with the game servers an attempt will be made or reschedule and replay the match. The CEA organizers may assign a tie (half-win) if, at their sole discretion, the match cannot reasonably be rescheduled.

Questions and Disputes

We strongly encourage players to take videos or screenshots of gameplay, score screens, and chat logs with timestamps enabled as well as save replays (where applicable) to use in the event of a conflict.

Mention the game lead and/or admins with an @ on Discord in #help-and-feedback channel if you require assistance during the season.

A team may submit a dispute within 12 hours in the event that they believe their opponents broke any of the game rules, the referee unfairly awarded a win to their opponents upon an in-game disconnect, referee or opponents did anything that violates the spirit of the rules, or that the incorrect match result was submitted. CEA organizers will review any disputes.

All participants must adhere to the decisions and rules of the tournament organizers, admins, and referees. All decisions are final, except in cases where the option to appeal is clearly stated. Conversations, either verbal or written, between organizers, admins, or referees, and participants are confidential. Publicly posting or sharing these conversations with outside parties is strictly forbidden, unless permission is obtained.

If an agreement to change a rule is made between captains, ensure the agreement is saved in writing in case a disagreement arises.

Unforeseen Circumstances

The CEA reserves the right to change these rules and to make additional decisions outside the defined rule set as necessary. Rule changes will be posted on the CEA Discord and all relevant parties notified.

Reporting Players for Cheating and Misdemeanors

If you, as a Player, sincerely believe that your opponent:

- cheated,

- exhibited behaviour that was hostile, toxic, vulgar or otherwise unacceptable,

- or infringed on either these rules, or rules in the CEA Handbook

Please follow this step by step process:

- Take screenshots or make a desktop recording the behaviour in question. Either through use of screenshot tools like Gyazo, or video encoders, such as OBS (both of which are free to use).

- Contact your Team Captain and present your evidence to them.

- Your Team Captain should then contact the Game Lead and make the case clear to them.

- The Game Lead and the CEA team will then decide what action needs to be taken, if any.

Finally, take a deep breath and take a step back. Many players in the CEA are filled with good will and a desire to have fun. Often an incident of cheating is an accident or an honest misunderstanding of the rules.

How Does the CEA Use Company Names and Logos?

Recognizing the value companies place on their logo and brand, the CEA strives to make only very light use of either.

The CEA will not use your logo without your written consent. Teams who post their company's logo in public-facing spaces owned by the CEA may be subject to removal from the tournament.

A company's name is used strictly to identify the teams playing for that company, and is never used to imply the views or opinions of a company. During broadcasts, we discourage discussion of specific products or services offered by companies except in a neutral, introductory, and informative manner where necessary.

The CEA is very understanding and flexible regarding IP. For more information, or to request an exception to the rules above, please let us know through the Contact form above. We typically respond within 24 hours.